Apple Watch LTE Is An AR Enabler, But Only If Siri Gets A Whole Lot Better
Apple is preparing to release a version of the next Apple Watch with LTE embedded. This potentially removes the need for an iPhone. At least some of the time.
In fact paired with the AirPod headphones, with their ability to magic Siri up for many tasks this could be the next step on the road to a post-smartphone world.
Microsoft and Google have already demonstrated that AR is a product whose time is coming and an LTE Apple Watch, together with a Google Glass-like display, could be the thing that makes it happen.
Imagine the possibilities which ARKit, an eye-mounted display and always-on connectivity through the Watch could make real.
But only if Siri gets a lot better.
That means more reliable recognition, more intelligent correction and reworking of inputs; better automation and handling of incoming notifications and actions; and, most importantly, better interaction for third parties.
I suspect this is the same vision Microsoft has, but without a large consumer base and a lots of mobile apps to move to the new platform HoloLens is likely to be a niche, and enterprise focused, product when it arrives.
Google has everything in place to make this happen. However Glass effectively died when that one picture of Robert Scoble using a pair in the shower emerged. Restoring some element of credibility within both consumer and tech crowds is going to take an awful lot of effort.
Apple, however, has already taken ownership of the AR space before it has even shipped a product. With the iPhone it's likely to bring AR mainstream next year and by the time it has its eyewear ready for production we'll all be lining up to take part.